Nationals: Kyle Barraclough signs with Yankees, evokes bad memories

Manager Dave Martinez #4 of the Washington Nationals takes the ball from Kyle Barraclough #20 during the game against the Chicago White Sox at Nationals Park on June 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Manager Dave Martinez #4 of the Washington Nationals takes the ball from Kyle Barraclough #20 during the game against the Chicago White Sox at Nationals Park on June 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Reliever Kyle Barraclough has a new home, and thankfully it’s not with the Nationals.

Kyle Barraclough has signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees with an invitation to spring training. He’ll go to camp and try to earn a spot in the Yanks bullpen. Best of luck, Kyle.

As I was reading his name on the transaction wire, a shiver ran down my side. A vision of Barraclough laboring through outings as a member of the Washington Nationals replayed over and over through my mind.

An inflated earned run average, a designated for assignment label, and a World Series ring. Well, that sums up Barraclough’s stay with the Nationals in 2019.

In what could be one of general manager Mike Rizzo’s worst trades (if you consider trading $1M worth of international bonus money a real trade), Barraclough was brought on board as a veteran presence in the bullpen. With 227 games under his belt and a 3.21 lifetime ERA during his days with the Miami Marlins, one would expect Barraclough to hold things together, or at least hold leads.

He did neither.

The bullpen was atrocious during the 2019 season and Barraclough was a big reason why. He pitched in 33 games for the Nationals and allowed a baserunner in all but seven of those games, which led to a WHIP of 1.75. In 25 innings he gave up eight home runs.

Nationals fans held their breath every time the bullpen door swung open that season, and didn’t breathe a sigh of relief when they saw Barraclough run onto the field.

The news of August 6th couldn’t come soon enough. Barraclough had been DFAed, clearing a roster spot for Asdrubal Cabrera (who had faced the same fortune days earlier by the Texas Rangers).

Barraclough was selected off waivers by the San Francisco Giants and finished the year with them. His troubles continued as he walked nine in eight innings. Barraclough signed with the San Diego Padres in 2020, though didn’t make the 60 man roster when teams met for summer camp, after the shutdown.

Next. Signs spring training is near. dark

Now Kyle Barraclough will head to the American League, trying to scratch out a living with the New York Yankees.

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